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Agents of SHIELD Episode 7 Review

Agents of SHIELD Episode 7
The Hub

The Good Nerd

Did anyone else get the feeling that Agents of SHIELD was trying to tell us something last night?  “Trust the System” would have been a more appropriate title for the episode since every single SHIELD agent said that phrase; in Coulson’s case it was about 5 times. In what has become true Agents of SHIELD fashion, they want to make sure everyone in the audience knows what the story is about. However, that ended up playing a small second fiddle to this episode’s Odd Couple,: Agents Fitz and Ward. More on them later because first we must “Trust the System.”

At first glance, this episode was all about Skye being taught that even though she doesn’t like it, she needs to trust that the higher ups in SHIELD know what they are doing. However, in reality, this episode was about Coulson learning not to trust the system. The system he has believed in and defended from the moment we met him has seemingly failed him. Coulson is level 8 and as far as we know that is the highest-level clearance SHIELD has. Despite his clearance, Victoria Hand (don’t get me started on why they used her, it makes no sense) withholds mission information from him, information that could lead to the deaths of both Ward and Fitz. This does not sit well with Coulson and leads him and the rest of his team to create their own plan to save the boys.

The episode was a set up for Coulson trying to discover what exactly happened to him since the New York Invasion. The entire theme of the episode could be summed up from Tony Stark’s line about Nick Fury, “He's a spy, he's THE spy. His secrets have secrets.” If that wasn’t the lesson Coulson learned, especially considering the after credits scene, then I don’t know what is.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Skye in this episode. Initially I was very annoyed by her character and wasn’t sure if her actions fit her. However as the episode went on, I felt more and more comfortable that this was exactly how Skye would have acted. I am positive she was genuinely concerned for the boys, but her way of helping still involves manipulation, lying, and treason  level shenanigans. Her snooping helps to get the rest of the team moving, but it seems like it was Victoria Hand’s plan all along. Victoria Hand was either testing Coulson and his team and what they would do in this situation or never bothered to come up with a way to get Ward and Fitz out of danger. Either way it further reinforced to Coulson that maybe blindly trusting SHIELD isn’t the best plan. 

With the moral of the story being taken care by of Coulson and Skye, we are left to the humorous shenanigans of Agents Ward and Fitz. Some people may complain that the boys were a little too ridiculous in this episode, but I think it was needed levity considering the weight of what Coulson had to deal with back at the HUB. Not only did we get some great male bonding between the boys, we also got to see that Fitz is actually a pretty great Agent. He was allowed to shine in a way that has been off limits to him since he normally stays on the bus. Fitz thinks he has to prove himself to Ward during this mission, but Ward has seen the conviction that lies in Fitz and knew before they set out that he would do what was necessary. The way the two interacted during their mission made for some great moments and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. 

While this episode didn’t have the same emotional impact that the last one had, it still kept me entertained. Ward and Fitz stole this episode hands down and I can only hope we get more of them teaming up. Coulson is finally starting to question what happened to him and that gets me excited that we will finally start getting some answers about him. Skye also got some answers, but it seems that the higher ups at SHIELD have more in store for her than even Coulson knows. All in all it was another good episode and it feels like they are finally committing to their story.

Good Nerd: Thumbs Up

The Bad Nerd

For all the times they said the phrase “Trust the system”, you’d think that was the title of episode seven. And with that heavy hand, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (AOS) introduced the next phase of their show’s direction: suspect everything, trust no one. And what better way to kick it off than with Victoria Hand.

Victoria Hand cannot be trusted. A quick look at her days in the comics reveals a duplicitous past, at best. At times working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and at others for Norman Osborn. She rose from an accountant to Deputy Director through her outspoken opposition to Nick Fury and others. She oversaw the introduction of the Dark Avengers, if that gives you any indication of her loyalties. Suffice it to say, if she’s here in this incarnation of S.H.I.E.L.D., it can’t be good for Coulson’s team.

And that leads us to the topic of the week, Coulson’s team. One of my biggest issues with the show was that it lacked any purpose for Coulson’s handpicked team’s existence. They seemed ordinary to be quite frank. And so did the missions. It was underwhelming. However, The Hub gave us a preview of the new AOS show.

The mission was daring and dangerous. But more importantly, the agents were up to the task. And I have to emphasize the plural here. It’s cliché that the geeky and often quirky characters are weak minded, preferring to stay in the lab and out of harms way. But Fitz is every bit an agent as Ward. These are the decisions that can make your show great, because these are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and their lab partners. Fitz showed moxie and ingenuity in the field, as well as courage. Just because a character is awkward doesn’t mean they aren’t brave too.

But now, it’s the future that I have my eye on. After this episode, it’s clear that the visionaries behind AOS are positioning themselves to line up with Winter Soldier, where widespread corruption looks to have splintered S.H.I.E.L.D. to pieces. They’re clearly operating outside the protocols of The Hub and with little recourse from it. This should position them to take on the organization in Season 2, when all hell breaks loose from within. 

Finally, Coulson looks pale after learning that he’s not cleared to read his own Recovery Report. Will he break protocol further and risk his team to learn the truth, or will he “trust the system”? Ha! And that’s a wrap, folks!

Bad Nerd: Thumbs Up!
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